Sep 21, 2021
A mom, a nationally syndicated humor columnist, a parenting author, a speaker, a 13-year veteran of her town’s school system, and a radio talk show host in Boston, Lisa gets it. All of it. First hand.
Lisa believes as parents, we need to be nimble and let our kids find their own path and make their own mistakes and learn to rise for themselves.
Because the goal of parenting is to raise strong, capable, resilient humans who’ll thrive on their own.
Lisa Sugarman's Post on Sep 10 2021
Hello, friends. Here with a serious (and somewhat long) post that I hope you’ll all take a moment to read…
Today is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay and I’d like to talk about that for a minute.
My father Jim died by suicide two weeks after my 10th birthday in August of 1978. We were inseparable. He was my person. And his sudden death shattered me.
At the time, back in the late 70s, suicide was heavily stigmatized, so my dad kept his pain from everyone around him, including my mother and our family. So no one had any inkling that his mental health was so precarious. And then he was gone.
This is the first time I’ve publicly posted/written anything about his death other than the fact that he passed away when I was young and he was my hero. The reason for my silence is complicated. Suffice it to say, I didn’t learn the true cause of my father’s death until I was in my mid 40s. And it was at that point that I spent several years re-grieving that loss, processing the truth, and finding a path to forgiveness. Now, all I want is to share the truth of his mental illness and death with the hope of empowering others to ask for help. The only thing I will say is that I’m forever grateful to my mother for intentionally sparing me from the painful truth until I was at a point in my life when I needed to learn that story.
The reason I’ve decided to start talking openly about my dad’s suicide now is because I believe the only way to help people who are struggling is by having open and honest conversations. It’s by asking questions. It’s by holding space. It’s by finding out what’s causing someone’s pain. And it’s by honoring that our mental health is JUST as important and in need of care as our physical health. Because, in one way or another, we’ve all been impacted either directly or indirectly by suicide. Either someone we love has died by suicide and we’re a survivor or someone we know has attempted to take their own life. Or, maybe we’re the one who made the attempt ourselves. In whatever way it touches you, it’s a powerful truth that there are people all around us who are in pain and suffering and lost. People who are struggling with mental illness who feel desperate and sad and alone. But we can help. We. Can. Help. We all have that power to make a positive impact on someone’s life simply by asking the question, “Are you ok?”. We just need to be paying attention and we need to start the hard conversations. Then we need to keep talking. Because together we can help #stopsuicide.
So this is a reminder to each of you that I’m here to talk, to listen, and to help. If you’re feeling lost and you don’t know where to turn, please reach out. Please. Just DM me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I’m here to help.
I’ve lost many people I love to suicide, including my dad, so I’m starting the conversation here and hoping we can continue it together.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'. Because you matter.